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Nexans Australmold 30 years Milestone in Australia

Melbourne, Australia, July 23, 2015– 

Australmold was incorporated in July 1985, and is now celebrating 30 years in Australia.

As a family company, founded by Mr. Keith Armstrong (formerly of NHP), the beginnings were humble. 

At the age of 65, Mr. Armstrong who was Sales Manager for Medium Voltage products at NHP from 1969-1985, took up the challenge of starting Australmold when NHP decided at the time they would focus efforts on other products.

The fledgling business was originally run from home, then near NHP at Richmond, until relocation to a very small establishment in North Melbourne, Victoria.

The only product represented was the little known brand Elastimold from the USA, which specialised in technology not yet seen in Australia, “screened separable connectors” in ANSI profile. These safe to touch terminations are used to connect MV cables to the epoxy bushings of equipment such as transformers, switchgear and motors. Most of the power utilities at the time were using MV paper lead cables. The real driver for the successful introduction of screened separable connectors was the upcoming MV XLPE cable.

Within a short period of time, Mr. Armstrong employed his daughter (Mrs. Judy McKelvie) and his son-in-law (Mr. Greg McKelvie) in 1988 to help with the development of the company.

Through the technical knowledge of Mr. McKelvie and administrative nous of Mrs. McKelvie, Australmold flourished.

By 1988 Australmold was also distributing the DIN Profile separable connectors manufactured by Euromold in Belgium, (now a Nexans company).

The employment of Mr. Ray Pitman in 1989 was also a pivotal moment in Australmold history. His knowledge and industry connections through S.E.C.V. (Victorian Power Utility) were fundamental to Australmold's success.

Initially, Australmold secured orders with power utilities in Victoria, later in Western Australia and South Australia, with other states soon after.

By 1993 Greg & Judy McKelvie purchased Australmold 100% and took it thought a major growth phase.

Since then, Australmold has become synonymous with “screened separable connectors” also known as “elbows” throughout Australia and New Zealand. 

Through shrewd selection of quality staff and product representation, Australmold continued to flourish, moving from North Melbourne to a much larger site in Airport West, Melbourne.

In Early 2001, the company had 6 staff and had outgrown the Airport West premises and therefore relocated to Tullamarine, Melbourne where it is located today.

In March 2008, Australmold was acquired by Olex Australia (a Nexans company) and became part of the Nexans Power Accessories Group. A continued commitment to offer a high quality of customer service, local technical support, and local stock with the backup and resources of the global Nexans group, have ensured growth.

Today, Nexans Australmold - a division of Olex Australia Pty Ltd is a manufacturer (Nexans, Euromold & GPH brands) and distributor (Elastimold), of Power Cable Accessories up to 72kV for the Power Transmission and Distribution markets. Olivier Lopez, GM Asia Pacific – based in Melbourne, heads up this division which now employs fifteen people, with additional sales offices in Perth and Brisbane, as well as representation in New Zealand by distributor Cuthbert Stewart.

Nexans Australmold has continued to introduce innovation and new products, and is a leading supplier to Power Utilities, OEM's (transformer & switchboard), Contractors, Renewable Energy (wind & solar farms), Rail (rolling stock & infrastructure) and Resources (Oil & Gas) market. 

Range of products include separable connectors (elbows), joints, terminations, compression and shear off lugs and links, pre-assembled cable leads, bushings and tooling. Technologies include, EPDM rubber, silicone slipon, heat shrink and cold shrink.

Fig 1: Circa early 1990’s – Australmold in New Zealand at the Electrical Engineers Association Exhibition.
Left to Right: Ray Pitman (Australmold), Grant Wallace (Electropar NZ) & Greg McKelvie (Australmold)

 

Fig 2: Circa early 1990’s – SA Power Networks (formerly E.T.S.A.) in South Australia. Happy Valley Sub Station using Elastimold dead break separable connectors (elbows) supplied by Australmold still in operation today.

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